Go Canny - Environmental Sculpture Project

by Go Canny in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 20th December 2018 we successfully raised £830 with 7 supporters in 56 days

Engage with children, design and create a sculpture from aluminium drinks cans gathered from local streets and green spaces in 2017, EH6

by Go Canny in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

We are all part of the problem. We are all part of the solution. 

" I kept returning to the same place, how could i use my 21 years experience as a practicing metal artist and tutor to create an engaging community sculpture project". Early in 2017, armed with washable bags, gloves and a dog I began collecting drinks cans in my path from streets and green spaces in EH6,  a small incidental part of my day. By the end of the year I had collected 4,932 cans. Discarded resources are also gathered by Edinburgh Services and members of 'Leithers Don't Litter'. It is becoming ever more vital that young people develop a keen environmental awareness and understand the fragility of our environment.

 My Goals:

Create An Installation

- Use this can collection as part of an installation. From the bottom up, stronger than a team of one I aim to partner with other environmental groups and incorporate opportunities for folk in my community to get involved.  Create a 'kids zone' with fun, interactive learning activities. Strengthen my connections with other local environmental groups. 

Sand Casting Workshops for All

- Create an opportunity to take part / book onto  aluminium sand casting workshops running over 3/4 months. Part of the currency being to bring along aluminium cans.

Design and Create a Sculpture With Local Children Using Aluminium Gathered in 2017

- Re-purpose the 4,659 aluminium cans into a  mould cast  sculpture project offering children the opportunity to be part of that journey, designing, mould making and observing pouring,  instilling  a sense of ownership in the end project. Art is an empowering, visceral form of communication that can offer a real sense of connection and achievement. In tandem this offers the opportunity for a framework of learning more about environmental challenges appropriate to age and stage of development. 

There are many valuable 'grass roots' initiatives established within Edinburgh, this project would add to that diversity and further promote community based environmental action.

During two world wars resourcefulness and thrift where valued, people engaged with recycling ( then called salvage) to help the war effort. By the 1950's industrial design journals in America circulated within the industry openly discussed 'planned obsolescence'. Sharing among themselves thoughts on how fast they could make stuff break but still leave the consumer with enough faith in the product to go buy another!. It didn't take long for the rest of the industrial world to catch on. Buying everyday disposable goods was promoted as a lifestyle to aspire too.

More than ever children are growing up in a world full of contradiction. While they are learning more about environmental issues we still need to take bigger steps away  from a disposable culture.

How will funding be used: 

Art projects do tend to evolve. I have costed specific tools, machinery and protective clothing and estimated other costs.

- Installation  £1,000

- Sand Casting Workshops  £2,000

- Sculpture Project  £4,000

Where did this journey begin?. I'm not an environmental scientist.  As a young child outings where a rare event, i remember clearly a few experiences that really imprinted on me. As a young adult i squeezed in many mini adventures volunteering mostly for the RSPB, around the English and Welsh coastline and my first Scottish odysseys, St Kilda, Fair Isle and more,  up close  with Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles, Pine Martins, Otters............ Employment with the RSPB was my move to the Highlands, Scotland has been my home for almost half my life. I did skip off to Africa for two years working as a research volunteer and on my return I enrolled on the first full-time Creative Metalwork course, and so began my 'life of grime'! Art and environmental sciences have always been my interests, i read a lot on current issues and recently kept returning to that restless feeling that having a 'zero waste ' policy at home and work and the other things i do just wasn't enough! It's been a really challenging journey just to get this far, maybe it is something to do with stars lining up!, my skill set, my lifelong interests and my passion to be part of the solution, and being a mum have all played their part in driving me forward.

Commissioned Work - Celtic Horse Gate Panel

There are 'grass roots' projects springing up all over the UK as people choose to translate their skill sets into worthwhile engaging projects, many of them crowdfunded. I have got this far with a tiny amount of funding,  'Go Canny' needs your support to go forward from here. Thank you for engaging - Annette Sheppard

" Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful".

                                                                                        Joshua J. Marine                                 

Lapwing Roosting - Base, repurposed aluminium

Lifesize Cormarant - Body and wings fabricated from recycled steel food cans

Rewards - Prize Draw - All pledges of £10 and over will be automatically entered 

1 - Large Handmade Clock ( 73cm dia)

2 - Large Metal Candelabra

3 - Second Large Candelabra

4 - Framed Jolomo Print

5 - Second Framed Jolomo Print


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more


Each pledge of £10 and above will receive a prize draw entry. There are 5 prizes: 1 - Large Clock, made by myself from re-purposed timber, hand cut metal numbers and a unique design on the face. 2 - Large Metal Candelabra, made by myself. The design is fluid and organic, designed for a large dining surface . 3 - Second Large Metal Candelabra 4 - Framed Jolomo Print 5 - Second Jolomo Print ( Images can be found at the end of this page )

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Along with PRIZE DRAW entry each pledge of £20 or over will receive a ' GO CANNY ' cotton bag. Washable, long handled bag with 'I'm Supporting' photo logo. ( Image can be found at the end of this page)

£100 or more

Cast Aluminium Soap Dish or Table Trivet

Along with rewards above choose a soap dish or trivet handmade from discarded aluminum. As yet I lack the equipment to make these, once funding targets allow I will share images of various designs for you to select from..........

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